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How can paper manufacturers account for "sustainably harvested fibers" if they buy market pulp?

LISTENING STUDY: Responses reference many methods of manufacturers verifying sustaina-bility, including Best Management Practices, Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification, Forest Stewardship Council certification, and general certification schemes.

Purchase deinked market pulp or FSC-certified market pulp. Currently, FSC is the only widely accepted international certification program among independent environmental advocacy groups. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense

Georgia-Pacific Wood & Fiber Procurement is committed to the implementation of forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) on all lands where timber harvesting operations are controlled by Georgia-Pacific foresters. Wood & Fiber Procurement will promote the use of BMPs by all suppliers delivering fiber to a Georgia-Pacific manufacturing facility. Thus, Wood & Fiber Procurement will:
- meet state BMP standards at a minimum and may exceed where appropriate.
- actively participate in state-level processes to review and further develop technically sound BMPs.
- periodically conduct compliance assessments to ensure consistency with recommended practices, on tracts where harvesting is controlled by GP foresters.
- provide verifiable information to evaluate the results of GP's promotion of reforestation and BMPs across the procurement system.
- will not knowingly buy timber directly from landowners, loggers and suppliers who refuse to practice BMPs as outlined in their state.
- use appropriate aesthetic methods to minimize the visual impact of our harvesting operations.
- will not knowingly purchase timber that has been acquired or harvested in a manner not in compliance with the law, statues, or regulations of the area in which the timber is procured. - Georgia Pacific

Wood certainly won't vanish from the international paper stream in the near or possibly long-term future. So, is there a way to ensure that timber harvested in "working" forests has as minimal an ecological impact as possible? Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification has emerged as the international standard of choice among the environmental community as it requires an independent party to evaluate a company's activities in the field. FSC guidelines offer numerous checks and balances to reconcile intensive rotational harvesting and biodiversity protection inside the boundaries of a working forest. - Imhoff 1999

Manufacturers would need to investigate their fiber sources and audit their environmental standards and certifications that the supplier adheres to. - International Paper

Require pulp mills to certify content. - Robert R. Bryan, Forest Ecologist, Maine Audubon

They need to purchase Forest Stewardship Council-certified pulp. - Susan Hammond, Executive Director, Silva Forest

Foundation Chain-of-custody documentation. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America

Stora Enso North America surveys all of its pulp suppliers to gather information on the sources of fiber in its purchased pulp. This can also be done with a Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certificate provided by the pulp supplier. The CoC certificate is a third party certificate that guarantees that a certain percentage of fiber content comes from certified forests. - Stora Enso

The growing concern over forest management practices has contributed to an expansion of certification initiatives in the 1990s. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sponsors the best known and most credible certification program. FSC accredits certifiers who, at the request of companies wishing to use the FSC logo, audit forest management practices and certify products for the entire chain of custody, from forest to transport to processing. FSC-certified forests must follow strict standards set forth in regionally specific principles and criteria for sustainable forest management. In late 1998, the first U.S.-produced paper containing FSC third-party-certified wood pulp arrived on the market. - Abramovitz 1999

The claim associated with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) secondary producer's label is that the manufacturing unit procures a substantial amount of its materials from independently third-party certified sources (2/3rds minimum). This does not imply that any or all of the material originates from an SFI-certified forest. Depending on the facility, the material content of the product could originate from a variety of sources, which include:
(1) specific forest tracts managed in conformance with the SFI Standard or other acceptable standards, including all forest tracts owned or controlled by the manufacturer;
(2) a procurement system certified to be in conformance with the SFI Standard; or
(3) a combination of these two.
     In all cases, a qualified independent third party confirms the content.
     Material purchased through a certified procurement system generally originates from land owned by one of the over ten million private forest landowners in North America. The SFI Standard requires SFI participants to actively engage in efforts to educate landowners, as well as the professionals that harvest the wood, in the importance of sustainable forestry and the methods by which it should be practiced. - American Forest and Paper Association

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